Farm theft breakthrough

By Robert Muir

A 31-year-old Yarrawonga man has been charged in respect to the wave of crime from rural properties in various local areas including Yarrawonga, Benalla, Peechelba, Killawarra and Wilby.

He was arrested and charged last Thursday, September 5 with 11 burglaries, 18 thefts, possessing an imitation firearm and drug offences.

The alleged offender was remanded in custody and will attend court on October 4. 

Alarmed at the overall theft from farms which also includes properties at Lake Rowan, Peechelba and Boweya, rural residents have arranged a community meeting about security. 

The meeting is to be held next Wednesday, September 18 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Boweya Community Centre. Police will be in attendance. 

On Monday, September 2, Cobram CIU attended a storage shed in Acacia Street Yarrawonga and located a large number of stolen items including power tools.

“We have returned a large number of items to victims involved,” Senior Constable Leah Booth of the Cobram Criminal Investigation Unit told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

There are a number of items where the owners haven’t been located. Items include power tools, a wakeboard and two large steel tradesman toolboxes. 

A missing Ford Ranger and four trailers are yet to be located. Any information should be given to Detective Booth at the Cobram Crime Investigation Unit on 5871 2866.  

Regarding the man charged, Senior Constable Booth said: “There have been 11 burglaries and 18 thefts from the Benalla, Cobram and Wangaratta areas since April. Our investigations are continuing.”

On the Sunday morning of September 1, a Silver Commodore entered a property near Peechelba at around 6.30am and after
spotting the security cameras the offenders attempted to obstruct them.

“Nothing was stolen but I am sure would have been if they were not disturbed,” a nearby resident said. “The theft or attempted theft has been so brazen – the thieves don’t care what time of day they steal or try to steal.” 

A Boweya Road resident said she observed two cars parked along the Boweya Road on the border of her property on Wednesday afternoon of August 28.

She observed they were male, on P plates seemingly loitering and a short time later zoomed off in a race-like fashion.

Two days later, on Friday afternoon, she noticed what she initially thought was a family member walking around her shed, only to realise it was two persons and the same two vehicles as on the Wednesday. 

She quickly telephoned her brother and father who were able to contain and obtain their licence details, and then reported to police accordingly.

“The two persons were from Benalla and Wangaratta,” the resident said. “They had their excuses ready – they liked taking photographs of the back of sheds!” 

Two properties on Howells Road Lake Rowan were targeted two weeks ago. The alleged offenders were seen driving a vehicle described as a load V8, having entered the property and driving to an overhead tank where about 75 litres of unleaded petrol was stolen.

On the second property, a Milwaukee brand drill, valued at $1,000 was stolen.

Urban theft in Tungamah and Yarrawonga has also been reported. At Tungamah, at a private residence in Mallow Street, the driver’s side rear door of a 2003 Ford Sedan had wiring cut and door unbolted before making off with the door.

In Yarrawonga, vehicles parked in streets have had items stolen, especially unlocked cars and utes.

Police reiterate that it is the opportunistic thief who will enter an unlocked car and have a clear message for vehicle owners.

“People are reminded to lock their vehicles,” Senior Constable Booth said. “Put your valuables in the house rather than the car.

“Lock your doors. Don’t ‘advertise’ what you have inside your vehicle.”

In police more news

Acacia Street burglary

An Acacia St engineering business was broken into between August 30 and September 2. Offenders have forced a rear door to gain entry to the premises.  Once inside they have stolen a large quantity of Milwaukee electrical tools.

Trailer stolen

Thieves have stolen a 6m x 4m trailer from an Angle Road farm property.  Offenders have cut the lock from the front gate and have cut a lock securing the trailer to a shed post.  The stolen trailer has registration plates W19960 and is valued at $800.

South Road burglary

A South Road premises was the target of thieves over the weekend where offenders have entered a shed by forcing a rear door.  Once entry was gained offenders have stolen a Stihl chainsaw valued at $800.